tuiasosopo

The Jays claimed utility man Matt Tuiasosopo from the Diamondbacks late Thursday afternoon, releasing hard-throwing left-hander Luis Perez in the process. It’s a… it’s a move. I don’t know if it’s a curious one, or even an interesting one, but it’s a move. Tuiasosopo is out of options, and will report to big league camp in Dunedin as soon as he arrives — which may not be for a while, since Bluebird Banter notes that he’s currently in Sydney with the Diamondbacks contingent getting set for the season-opening series against the Dodgers.

I’m not sure that he’s anything, but… maybe? You’ll see a lot of people lazily citing a reverse split in a tiny sample of big league at bats, which might encourage you to question the move, especially if it’s with a view to replacing Moises Sierra as the default right-handed bat off the bench, but a closer look shows it’s probably quite a bit smarter than that.

In 2013, Tuiasosopo put up an impressive 114 wRC+ and a wOBA of .342, but did the vast majority of his damage against same-sided pitching (158 wRC+/.389 wRC+), despite getting the bulk of his plate appearances against left-handers. Against lefties he was basically an average hitter, posting a 99 wRC+, a .320 wOBA, but how he got there was interesting: his walk rate was a robust 15.3% — nearly double what it was against right-handers – and his power was slightly above average, as he posted an ISO of .155, but his BABIP was a bit low at .274, leading to an unimpressive-minus-the-walks slash line of .216/.336/.371 in the split.

Thing is, he was getting all those plate appearances for a reason: against left-handed pitching for Buffalo (when it was a Mets affiliate) in 2012, Tuiasosopo slashed .304/.395/.461 against left-handers, which was over 200 points of OPS better than his split against righties. The year before for the PCL’s Tacoma Rainiers it was .241/.366/.482.

Granted, those numbers only cover just over 250 plate appearances in total, but they’re impressive enough. Especially since the Jays are currently looking at handing the job of Lind’s platoon-mate — when they’re not making dumb-as-shit pronouncements about letting Lind and his wRC+ of 37 in the split actually hit against the occasional lefty… like intentionally — to Moises Sierra, who has never had a strong platoon split, and certainly didn’t in 2013, putting up an ugly .222/.301/.370 against left-handers in time split between Buffalo and a nifty big league cameo.

Sierra’s typically below-average walk rate spiked to 11.5% when moved up to the majors last year. He cut down on his strikeouts, increased his power, and basically forced his name back into the conversation, despite having a pedestrian year in Buffalo that had made him something of an afterthought — and probably for good reason. The 25-year old isn’t exactly setting the world on fire in camp, but he’s also out of options, and has certainly looked better so far than Tuiasosopo, who has just four hits and four walks in 39 plate appearances.

One could pretty easily think — despite some chatter on Twitter that some sort of a deal might be in the works that would make one of these two players less redundant — that we simply now have some healthy competition for the role, and that the team figured it cost them nothing given they quite possibly would have lost Luis Perez anyway, had they tried to slip him through waivers. However, there are some legitimate reasons to think that Tuiasosopo might be the favourite: in addition to the better production in the split at the minor league level, he’s more versatile — in 2012 at Buffalo he played every position but pitcher or catcher — and his numbers in the big leagues in 2013 may have looked even more impressive had it not been for a ribcage injury that sent him to the DL in mid-June.

He returned to action on July 8th, a week before the All-Star break. Granted, that’s quite a long time, in baseball terms, before he went 0-for-September in 22 plate appearances, but perhaps the effects of the injury lingered. It’s a stretch, but the difference between his first half (195 wRC+) and his second half (20 wRC+) are extraordinarily stark.

The fact that the ability hasn’t returned yet this spring is a concern, but perhaps that will give the club a better chance to sneak Tuiasosopo through waivers to Buffalo and keep both of their options open.

Or perhaps this is the signal of something coming on the pitching front involving an outfielder. There are obvious doubts to be had on that, given that the outfielders the Jays would conceivably be giving up — i.e. none of their three starters — would be minor pieces to any deal, but that doesn’t mean pitching isn’t still the talk of the rumour mill…

The Latest Trade Pitch

Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago wrote on Thursday that the Jays had three scouts watching Jeff Samardzija’s latest outing for the Cubs, “including their director of professional scouting, top scout and former Cubs general manager Ed Lynch.”

It’s not like the Jays are the only team interested, though, as Levine says that as many as 25 scouts were in attendance for the performance, likely because, as he tells us, “the Cubs and Samardzija are no closer to a deal on a long-term contract now than they were the last time they had substantive talks in December.” He adds that “the sides seem to have differences that could amount to $15 million-$20 million over the life of a long-term deal.”

However, those scouts may soon need to switch locations, as Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson may be a trade candidate, now that we’ve learned, via a tweet from Ken Rosenthal, that extension talks between the two sides have broken off, and free agency at the end of the season seems a likely option. And get this: all Masterson was asking for was a three-year deal around, but under the same average annual value of Homer Bailey’s six-year extension with the Reds ($17.5-million). That’s… uh… that’s pretty doable-sounding to me. So go do it already, Anthop– oh… fuck it, who are we kidding?

Of course, if they knew what was good for them the Jays may not even need an extra starter. That’s a stretch, I know, and also irrelevant because they clearly don’t know what’s good for them, but Dustin McGowan pitched really well again today. Like he did all of last year.

He wants to start. He’s getting built up. He could pitch the home opener on April fourth having made two more spring starts on regular rest to keep pushing his arm to get beyond the 45 pitches he was at today (though one start would have to be against minor leaguers in Dunedin). When healthy he’s a clear, obvious cut above Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond. Most importantly, if he gets hurt — which, naturally, is the fear — they’re really only losing their fourth-best right-handed reliever.

The thing about his getting built up, though, is that it’s not really what it looks like — or so say the Jays for now.

“We just kind of figured [the bullpen] was where I was going to be, just because I hadn’t built up enough innings to even really compete for the [starting] job,” he told reporters today, including John Lott of the National Post. “But I think they wanted to get me out there and see if I can even go three or four innings, just to see how I would bounce back. Who knows, in the ’pen, you might have those days when a guy needs to go three or four.”

Those are valuable innings, sure, but not as valuable as ones in the rotation. More valuable, I guess, than ones that he can’t pitch because he’s overextended himself and ended up hurt, though. And maybe I’m being a bit too romantic about the notion that this should be a serious consideration, but if not now, when? This is the last guaranteed year of a deal that includes a $4-million club option for 2015, which is no slam dunk to be picked up. He wants to do it. He’s got them weighted balls! He’s going to be thirty-two damn years old next week. Take off the fucking Water Wings already and let’s see if he sinks or swims.

Ahh, but this is the Jays we’re talking about, so even though they’re stretching McGowan out, they’re not really stretching him out. Dr. Gibby’s orders.

Ugh. Hey, but maybe this is just a hilarious dose of classic bullshit from the club and they really are thinking of doing it. That would be… good? I don’t even know anymore.

Comments (139)

  1. Interesting move. I could see them starting Happ or Morrow on the DL to start the season to make rooom for Tuiasosopo on the 25 man roster. I am betting Jeffres gets released also.

    Bit surprised it was Perez they released first. Hard throwing lefties are usually a nice commodity to have.

    • If Jeffress gets let go, they won’t need to DL someone to make room for Tuisasosopo. That is unless you’re expecting Happ AND Redmond to make the team.

      • Dickey
        Hutchison
        Buehrle
        Redmond
        Rogers

        Janssen
        Santos
        Delabar
        McGowan
        Loup
        Cecil
        Reliever probably Stilson

        And 13 position players including MT as your 5th outfielder.

        When Happ and Morrow are ready to go, Stilson goes back down most likely and then i guess circumstances dictate who else goes. So much will depend on the starters obviously. Of course, maybe the team doesn’t believe in Sierra or are planning on moving him though i kind of doubt that one.

        • I’d think they try and get Jeffress through waivers. They were able to successfully do it last year, why not again? Not a lot has changed on his front.

          As for Stilson, I don’t think he’s on the 40-man. Wagner is a capable substitution, though.

        • I read this projected rotation and started laughing out loud,

          Them I realized its actually quite possible and threw up in my mouth a little bit.

          Now I’m seriously considering becoming a Raptors fan.

          What a roller coaster day.

    • I do remember Perez being pretty ok last year but I could be mixing him in with someone else in the drunken haze the last 70 games of 2013 became. That being said I’m on board with Mcgowan getting starts even if it takes till the end of April to get him ready (which I’m guessing if they’re being super cautious is a conservative date)

  2. MT’s BABIP in that strong minor league season against lefties was a really unsustainable .404 though. So really, he’s still not good against LHP.

    • Because of a minor league BABIP?

      No, he could well be good.

      • Ok, let me rephrase. We can’t say that he IS good based on those minor league numbers because of the super high BABIP which is out of line with his other minor league BABIPs. We do know that he has struggled against them in the bigs.

        And I know minor league BABIP is flawed because of the varied levels of pitching talent, but those numbers could still very much be fools gold. The walk rate does look nice though.

  3. I’d love to see McGowan stretched out but still want them to add The Shark or Masterson. I’d like to think they have enough high-end prospects to do a deal without moving Sanchez.

    • You may like to think that, but it’s not true.

      • Well then what the fuck is taking them so long to stretch out McGowan?? The fact that he’s at 3 innings with two weeks till opening day is a joke. Are they Trying to tell us they’ve paid this guy for the past decade so he could be a setup man one day or even worse, a long-man??? If this isn’t a sign of pure incompetence, I don’t know what is…what are they afraid of? Relievers are a dime a dozen.

      • I think I’d do Stroman or Sanchez for Masterson right now, assuming you could re-sign him. Same thing they did with the Dickey deal.

        Although Cle is a contender so I don’t see them moving him now. Maybe July though?

        • I’ll try to find the link but a couple months ago the Shark said he wouldn’t sign an extension with a team that traded for him.

          You’d have him for 2 yrs & that’s it.

          • Can’t find it either but I Googled that and it looks like it’s there if you want to dig for it.

            • So because of that and the fact that Samardzija is a #3, I’d say not worth it.

              Keep the Kids.

        • Pen looks might good along with Stilson and Wagner in Buffalo. I would move Stroman over Sanchez for Samardzija. Don’t think Jays would get Masterson for just a single SP prospect. Would be great to win back some of that Aviles/Gomes trade though.

  4. It will be interesting to see what they do with McGowan. I imagine a lot will depend on what happens with Morrow and Happ to start the season. If both are not ready to go that pushes Rogers AND Redmond into the rotation (how’s that depth looking now?) to start the season and McGowan is probably your long man.

    • Why would Morrow not be ready?

      • Just speculation on my part and probably a bit on the wild side at this point. Just don’t think he is 100% quite yet and even if the health is close, then the effectiveness might not be. Happ basically falls into the same situation for me.

      • They’re pushing him to five because they don’t think he’s ready. Nonetheless, barring injury he’s coming north with the team. He hasn’t looked impressive though, whatever that means.

        • If he and Happ struggle right up to the their final outings then they can start the year on the DL. They know they cant afford to waste starts this year on ineffective starters. Hate to say it but I’ll take a healthy Redmond or Rogers over them if they are in bad shape for the short term. Unfortunately, that speaks volumes about AA’s inability to bolster the rotation this winter.

          • DL isn’t for shittiness.

            • Morrow finished the year on the DL and Happ has had back problems not a stretch for the team to claim injuries.

              • I doubt either would play ball on that. Remember, number of days spent on the DL is a tangible statistic that represents a players injury rate. In the case of a pitcher, and esp ones with injury concerns and heading into free agency, time on the DL could cost them big money.

                I doubt they allow it unless they’re actually injured.

      • Until he throws 100 pitches and looks comfortable, not many will be convinced that our one time cy hopeful turned 5 starter is “ready”

  5. Agree with everything said here Stoeten

  6. An knee one Juan tush air animal beet eve yuck count?

  7. That “fuck it who are we kidding” comment about AA getting Masterson was hilarious!

  8. I read that Tanaka is pitching the Jays home opener. Can anyone confirm?

  9. I like this Samoan cat. Hits like Clubber Lang.

    • Agreed, something about this guy.
      He’s a beast with hockey hair, Hawaiian, big stick.
      Fuckit, I’m in.

      • you two devils got me convinced

        • I just watched a vid of him smacking a dinger. Huge power. I like him a lot. I guess though he’s in the same situation as Sierra – out of options. So he has to stay up with the Jays or they lose him. So maybe there IS something going on.

  10. Just let one or more of Happ/Rogers/Redmond piggyback off of McGowan’s starts until he sinks or swims.

    If nothing else, a rotation of Dickey, Hutchison, Buehrle, McGowan & Morrow would be interesting.

    • Agree, I suggested this a couple of days ago in a thread. I get that they are concerned about McGowan’s health, but fact is none of Happ/Rogers/Redmond/Stroman has stepped up to show they are a viable rotation piece on a contending team. If the Jays are looking to contend, the arm with the highest ceiling is McGowan, and so far he seems to be throwing well. Why not take take the gamble. Frankly his innings in the starter role (even if he is only able to go 5 each game all year) are likely still more valuable than in a long relief role where, lets face it, if he comes in expected to pitch more than an inning or two to bridge to the late relief the Jays are likely already out of it – because the starter got knocked out early!

      • McGowan’s ceiling is not higher than Stroman’s.

        Thanks.

        • I would agree. However, it does look like Stroman is not quite ready. Happ and Redmond are what they are; Rogers has some upside due to his stuff. McGowan has ridiculous stuff.

        • McGowan’s ceiling is higher than Stroman – Stroman projected to have a ceiling of mid rotation starter. McGowan has already performed above that level in the MLB

          • This! That is if Stroman can even stick as a starter which is still up for debate among most of the scouts.

  11. “Ahh, but this is the Jays we’re talking about, so even though they’re stretching McGowan out, they’re not really stretching him out. Dr. Gibby’s orders.”

    Exactly. Couldn’t agree more. Infuriating.

    • Serious question: Does Gibby have ANY say in who starts and who is in the bullpen? Or are those orders from the front office?

      I would think that would be a front office decision but the manager probably has some input but I really don’t know.

      • I’d sure hope so. In general the manager sets the lineup given the players on the roster while the GM decides who is on the roster. Would think there would be input and opinion given both ways but would expect the manager to be given the autonomy to decide how to set the lineup – is the GM going to dictate the batting order, I hope not.

      • There was an interesting article by either John Lott or Scott MacArthur last year (I’m currently trying to find it) that essentially talked about how Gibbons utilized a bunch of players last year that AA was high on, basically because he owed his second chance as a manager to the GM. It seems this year Gibbons has been a little more vocal and involved in some of the decisions making, particularly after it came out that the front office was pushing the Ricky come back story. Obviously this is all speculation, because we really little information about the inner workings of the organization, but it was also strange that McGowan asked and was granted permission to be stretched out this year, yet Gibbons already stated that they never had any intention of moving him out of the bullpen (for now at least). Maybe there are more rational explanations for this, and I’m not suggesting a rift between Gibbons and the front office, but it seems he’s been a little more vocal about the direction he thinks the team should be going.

        As far as the bullpen goes, I’m sure he has to have some say in the decision making process. While is job is to get the most out of the players he’s provided, he also has a vested interest in ensuring he’s given the best possible options. And seeing as how there’s a high probability he’ll be fired if the team under performs again (not that it would actually be his fault, given the inaction by the GM this offseason and the limited ability of the manager to impact games), it would make sense that he would be more vocal about utilizing the players he thinks would give the team the best chance to win ball games.

  12. If you can trade stroman and sierra for masterson with an extension you do that in 2 seconds.

    • Agreed. I think you might have to add in a lesser prospect like a nolin or even norris to make sure it gets done

    • Agreed.

    • That’s stupid, Masterson has only one year left on his contract. Stroman would be a huge overpay.

      • “masterson with an extension

        • It’s still an overapy ala dickey deal. though slightly less so if there was a promise of a reasonably priced extension.

          • I don’t know if it’s an overpay, but I think the Jays need to hold onto their prospects, at least for now, and see what this team can do with a shit rotation. If they’re unwilling to bring in bodies for just cash, then they’d be pretty stupid to trade highly touted prospects for bodies and cash when the farm is generally ranked middle of the pack.

            • It is an overpay. Let’s assume assume stroman is a league average pitcher over the next 3 years, giving a WAR of about 6 over that time period, and while earning around 1.5 Million (major league minimum and assuming Super 2). Not to mention the extra relatively cheap years of arbitration. Masterson is projected to produce little less than 3 WAR this year. And that’s with a 10 million dollar price tag, which is pretty good mind you, but only one year.

              It’s the same kind of argument you would make with trading for Samardizja for Stroman straight up, even though you’re trading for 2 years of him. The money to value of a top prospect producing league average numbers making league minimum is really high.

            • Yeah, call me skeptical, but I agree that an org unwilling to sign f/a’s shouldn’t be trading away valuable kids for more “win-now” pieces that ain’t gonna matter when everything’s said and done.

      • Stroman and borderline waiver wire OF is not an overpay for a top tier starter. Masterson is better than best case projections for Stroman no? No way Cleveland would do that deal.

        • They have masterson for one year, if they don’t trade masterson they get a compensation pick. Stroman is miles better than a compesation pick. They would jump on a trade like this, especially how Stroman is ready to pitch like pretty much now.

          • I think you are over valuing Stroman – yes is is miles better than a compensation pick. He is not ready to pitch in the MLB, [projects to at best be a mid rotation starter. Cleveland if they trade him especially a sign and trade will get more on the trade market than Stroman and Sierra for him not to mention they would likely want MLB talent since they are competing for playoffs

  13. Masterson apparently was only willing to give Cleveland a discount because he loves playing for Francona and because he and his family (who knew?) like living there. If he’s traded elsewhere, that 3/$51 proposal goes away and Masterson probably just takes his chances as a free agent.

    My point is, if by some miracle the Jays did get Masterson, he sure isn’t giving them the 3/$51 discount unless he falls in love with Gibby and/or the city within a few months. Masterson would be out the door as a free agent since apparently the Jays hate spending money.

  14. SP: Dickey, Hutch, Buehrle, Morrow, Rogers/McGowan
    RP: Janssen, Santos, Delabar, Loup, Cecil, Redmond, Rogers/McGowan

    Cut Jefferies, who cares if you lose him on waivers, he isn’t that good.
    Put Happ on the DL with his back problem, or you know, left arm shitiness.

    Bench: Kratz, Izturis, Tuiasosopo, and Sierra.

    I really like the fact that Tuiasosopo can play pretty much every position.

  15. The whole McGowan thing, even if he gets hurt, and then you move Happ/Rogers/Redmond into his spot. You still have Wagner and Stilson ready to go in Buffalo. So it’s not like they don’t have the depth.

  16. Gotta go with McGowan. I sooooo want to see that happen. Like Brunt said, the baseball gods owe him one.

  17. McGowan starting Opening Night at the Dome would be a sight to see.

    Re: Tuiasosopo, the intriguing part to me is that he’s got a lot of experience in the infield – particularly at 3B, but a bit at 2B, in the minors. Considering that if Brett Lawrie goes down now, the replacement is Maicer Izturis, a bat with a bit more upside like Tuiasosopo’s might actually fill a valuable role, and, who knows, maybe he can even handle 2B on occasion.

    Of course, for that to matter, they’d have to dump the idea of the 8-man bullpen, so the odds are that they just try to stuff him through waivers in 10 days.

  18. The thought of McGowan pitching the home opener (as Stoeten suggested) is not only very exciting, but I think would be a tremendous in helping an emotionally battered fan base get on board for 2014, if he was to pitch a strong game that day.

    That said, they gotta see how he “bounces back” from yesterday’s game, and hopefully we can see him go at least 4 innings (maybe 5) against mostly starting major leaguers in his next start before our collective semi’s turn into raging hard ons.

    What I’m wondering is, how does the whole DL/extended spring/ 30 day minor league assignment thing work if the Jays decided the “yes” they want him to be a starter, but they want to be prudent about building him up?

    I’m sure Dustin would be be okay with the wink/nudge rehab assignment considering what the club has done for him. Also, considering the depth of the pen and the fact that this may enable the Jays to hold on to an out of options arm a bit longer that this could be very likely.

    • Based on that first paragraph I really think you’re insulated from the majority of the fan base, who I’m pretty sure won’t give a shit.

  19. The Dustin McGowan issue reminds me a bit of John Smoltz, back in the day. More specifically, I remember Smoltz (and/or his coaches) saying that pitching in relief was actually harder on his arm than starting, in part because of the lack of routine and preparation involved. There’s a bit of that discussed in this link:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=1944406

    Now, obviously, starting and pitching more innings in general is more risky than pitching fewer (half?) those innings in relief. But not all innings are equal, and I guess my point is that perhaps McGowan would be no more likely to get injured as a starter than as a reliever. Either way, sure, let him go for it – for all the reasons detailed in the post.

    • I think when McGowan first started working relief last season he said something along the line of it definitely being different to not know when you’re pitching and getting ready on a moments notice. It’s why Gibby wouldn’t run him out on back to back days. If he’s more comfortable with his arm bouncing back with 4 days rest, that’s only more reason to throw caution to the wind and just let him pitch.

      We’re gonna have 8 relievers on Opening Day anyways, and Rogers/Redmond/Happ are all stretched out, at least 2 of whom will be on the roster. If McGowan can only go 4 in his first start it’s hardly a problem, just let one of those three guys pitch the next 2-3 innings before the regular relievers come in to (hopefully) wrap things up.

  20. It’s funny how the Jays have created a tenuous, nerve-wracking situation because they aren’t enamoured with free agency. Since 2010, AA has certainly filled the organization with talent, with more of it higher and ML-quality than was previously the case.

    But now, with all the back-end talent out of or nearly out of options, there are several problems. Because their 2B option is weak offensively, they need a strong bench. Also, because their rotation has injury issues and depth issues, they need rotation depth. The legit and marginal ML-calibre talent (e.g. Redmond/Rogers/Tuiasosopo/Jeffress/McGowan/Happ, etc.) can’t be sent down without exposing them for one reason or another. However, the market price for FA doesn’t give decent value, affecting the trade market as well.

    They MAY be able to sneak one or two of these guys into MiLB, but injury problems with ATL and CIN (among other teams AND other situations, like HOU being crappy and MIA still being pretty young and crappy [but see JP Morosi...], etc.) suggest otherwise.

    AA must be popping dozens of TUMS every day and drinking milk by the gallon. Perhaps signing a key FA would help with some of this, perhaps not, but he sure has stuck by his guns. I wonder if other GMs are juvenile and would claim the living crap out of AA’s ‘assets’ just because he’s the Waiver King and he does it to them…? Ah, probably not. GMs aren’t petty and juvenile, are they?

  21. Lets make a deal with Cleveland or better yet, change parks.

  22. I think Dusty gets first crack at the rotation if/when Redmond/Rogers shits the bed gloriously.

    Wonder if the Jays are leary of having a feel good story like McGowan turn into the latest heaping of misery (on an already piled plate) if his arm explodes again and he’s officially K.I.A.

  23. I like the tuiasosopo signing and think that both he and sierra should make the team and go with a 7 man bullpen. Unfortunately i think that makes too much sense for this team and the signing will all be for nothing.

    • I haven’t read the rest of the board but I’m thinking that come November they’re (possibly) going to be down 2 ML fielders in Cabrera and Rasmus and MT (Tuiasosopo…easy! Apparently half of Samoa has that name) is insurance.

  24. Drew Smyly was a two win pitcher out of the pen last year. Perhaps some should simmer down with the scoffing at the idea of a “long-reliever” being a valuable piece.

    • The Tigers had by far the best rotation in baseball last year. Not even comparable.

    • Um… you’re going to accumulate value pitching 76 innings with a 2.37 ERA/2.31 FIP no matter what the role is. Remains more valuable to have a pitcher like that start games than come in during garbage time (which Smyly didn’t necessarily always do, and which long relievers aren’t entirely relegated to, I understand), but that won’t be reflected in his WAR.

      Using that statistic doesn’t prove the point you’re trying to prove.

      • Not to mention the Tigers specifically made room to move him into the rotation because THEY also realize that he’s a more valuable piece as a starter than as a reliever.

        • Precisely. And they didn’t NEED him to start in 2013 cause the rotation they already had were ridiculously strong.

          Whereas the Jays are looking very likely to roll out two of Happ, Hutchison, Redmond and Rogers two out of every five days.

    • Uh, yeah and what is Smyly’s role this year? In the rotation? Because the Tigers think he’s more valuable as a starter than a long reliever? Are you keeping up?

  25. It’s too bad a team wouldn’t trade WAR for WAR. You could take 4 or 5 of our shittier, replacement level players and trade straight up for a good SP or 2B.

    But seriously, we’ve got, what, 2 years left of our window. See if you can trade some prospects, replacement level players for anything decent. Keep Stroman and Sanchez and the low A guys. Trade everyone else if you can get decent return. If it doesn’t work out, sell Rasmus this July, JB, EE, Lawrie and anybody good next July for prospects/picks.

  26. Big test for Aaron today against a strong Rays lineup.

  27. Grim times in the big smoke. “Of course, if they knew what was good for them the Jays may not even need an extra starter. That’s a stretch, I know, and also irrelevant because they clearly don’t know what’s good for them”
    Agree. I don’t get the impression that anybody in management has any clue what they’re doing,

    • then fire everyone then

    • I don’t think it’s so much that they’re clueless. It seems that the front office believes that if they can adequately manage their young talent, they may have a shot at contention. This includes using a couple league average starters until one or both of Stroman and Sanchez have done enough to move up to the big leagues. It’s a gamble, sure, and I think the majority of the Jays fanbase is unhappy with this approach, but they obviously have some kind of plan. And like everyone has been saying for the past month, if everything breaks the right way then it’ll probably work out.

      Foolish, maybe, but not clueless. (except for Ryan Goins. Christ, even if you don’t replace him with external talent, a platoon of Getz and Izturis has to be better than this)

      • They look pretty clueless to me. At the beginning of the summer it was “one, possibly two starters and a second baseman”, and “wait out the relief pitching market.” When it became obvious that he misread the relief pitching market, it became “wait out the starting pitching market”. The starting pitching debacle they face now is the direct result of their plan failing.

        Now in spring it started off as “We’ll stretch out McGowan”, then after he performed well, it became “McGowan isn’t an option.” Mixed messages about Ricky Romero and JA Happ….right now it looks an awful lot like Redmond AND Rogers will be in the rotation, and both of those guys were 7th-8th-9th on the depth chart last year.

        Oh yeah, and all three of Redmond, Rogers and McGowan are out of options, and Happ makes $3.7 million this year.. Well managed boys, well managed.

  28. I believe they want to keep fan expectations low for McGowan. If he does end up starting it will make it that much better for everyone.

  29. Here’s a though. With the spring Johnson is having (small sample size I know) do they consider moving lind in a package for pitching and use Johnson as dh/1B with EE or is it a case of Johnson raking against below mlb level arms?

  30. http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2014/03/steam_whistle_given_the_boot_at_the_rogers_centre/

    Yeah it was a meager offering but at least it was something.

    Tweet @BlueJays and @Aramark that you want craft beer options at Skydome (not just Steamwhistle but other craft breweries, you’d think Left Field would be an obvious choice!)

    • Oh ya, so they get local craft beer at RC and probably charge you $15 bucks a cup.

      After this offseason, I’m doing all my drinking before i get in to the ballpark.

  31. Has anybody made a joke about Buck trying to announce this guys last name yet?

  32. Mike Tuusupassosa is INTERESTING because his mother was born in Samoa. Which also makes him Samoan

  33. His first RBI
    of
    The
    SEEEEZIN

  34. Apropos last weeks lamentation that AA got schooled by the Mets who only really wanted D”Arnaud: “I think eventually it got to the point where we needed Syndergaard. We were trading a major league player and not getting any major league players back,” said J.P. Ricciardi, the Mets’ special assistant to the GM. “I think in order to finish it off, we needed a younger, higher prospect to make us say, ‘OK, it’s worth trading a Cy Young Award winner.’ ” -http://www.northjersey.com/sports/baseball/this-kid-was-the-deal-maker-1.743486

  35. Tuia-whatever seems to have more MLB experience than Sierra so he’s probably a better fit, but who knows. Seems like a waste of time.
    The whole Masterson thing will no doubt be a highly commercial, published version of Fister – everyone will be in on it, offering up lots of speculation, and in the end he’ll end up in NL (if not use this as leverage and get resigned).
    Samardzija talk again? Ugh, I would hope Jays are scouting him under the pretense the Cubs won’t get Sanchez; Stroman I’m less inclined to protect assuming SP signs an extension with the Jays.

  36. Sanchez throwing heat

  37. Never has there been so much chatter around such a underwhelming rotation and even shittier options after the 5th…

    I like what I’m seeing from Hutch I think he will be a key contributer. I think they should make this season McGowan’s last stand.. let him start out of the gate and if he blows up so be it, he’s finished and can bus tables with Romero.

    Draebek, Rogers, Redmond… all garbage and if they are in the rotation for any extended period of time then this is a 5th place team.

    Morrow is the wild card, if he can remain healthy and be what he’s capable of being then it adds a completely new dimension to this team and makes them scary contenders.

    Sadly there’s just too much that has to break the Jays way, I spose AA and Beeston should start stealing office supplies because the end is near boys.

    • Or not.

      Sanchez may not be staying, but he seems to be making a case for coming back after the super 2 date. Today against the Rays (so far): 5IP, 3H, 0 R, 3BB, 2K That was the 12th scoreless inning in a row Sanchez has thrown.

      I’m guessing the starters 1-4 will be RAD, Buehrle, Morrow and Hutch plus whomever. They have to be ok to good and the offence should be able to carry them

      Today Gose and Lawrie have gone 2/3 so far and Lawrie has a HR.

      JB, Jose Reyes & Melky are doing great. Rasmus is doing ok. Kratz hit 2 homers yesterday. Navarro is nowhere near the black hole that JPA was.

      I don’t know but if the Jays lineup has the year they’re capable of (like they should’ve last year), I’m optimistic.

  38. Personally, I don’t see why McGowan shouldn’t start. His value as the 4th or 5th guy out of the pen is minimal, even if he’s decent at it. His value as a back-end starter is much higher. If he blows his arm out, nothing lost, nothing gained and if he doesn’t, maybe we have a better chance of competing with an existing asset who’s already a sunk cost.

    • Absolutely agree.. it’s time to start taking wild chances.
      I’ve heard Gibby say he wants McGowan out of then pen but really who gives a fuck what gibby thinks at this stage.

    • “if he blows out his arm nothing lost”

      unless that’s your arm, and the way you support your family

  39. If they are going to have a 8 man bullpen have McGowan split starts with Rogers/Redmond and each pitch 4 innings until he is stretched out. Then in May or trade reliever & prospect to Seattle for Nick Franklin

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